Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Imperial Swordsman
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
  Dune Life's A Beach
Year: 2021
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Stars: Timothee Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Zendaya, Oscar Isaac, Jason Momoa, Stellan Skarsgård, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Chang Chen, Dave Bautista, David Dastmalchian, Charlotte Rampling
Genre: Action, Science Fiction, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: It is the far future, and the method of travelling through the cosmos is managed because of the mysterious substance known as spice, which can only be mined on one world, Arrakis. Since this is the most precious matter in the known universe, there has been some conflict over who gets to control it, with wars breaking out over the years, but the Harkonnens have given up their claim over spice - for now - and left it to the House of Atreides, who plan to sort out some kind of deal with the planet's inhabitants, the Fremen. But the son of the leader of Atreides, Paul (Timothee Chalamet) has been having strange visions...

Dune was one of those movies supposed to save cinema in 2021, after the effects of the pandemic had thrown the industry into doubt. Once it finally arrived, it, like others in its category like James Bond or Ghostbusters: Afterlife, certainly made its money back and a tidy profit for their studios, but everything after that was placed in the shadow of Spider-Man: Far from Home which knocked them all into the proverbial cocked hat. There was doubt whether the second half of Dune would get made, as it had been greenlit as a Part One, to see if there was enough interest in a Part Two; there was, and that went into production the week after this was released.

Yet there was a vocal contingent of movie fans who despaired at that news, because Dune, the Denis Villeneuve remake of the 1984 David Lynch megaflop, and in turn the adaptation of the Frank Herbert science fiction tome for those who had had enough of Tolkien, was as dry as the desert planet where most of the action took place. It was basically Beige: The Movie, with a tastefully dialled down colour palette and any hint of personality ironed out in the service of self-important scenes featuring deadening loads of exposition. For a film selling itself on spectacle, it utterly lacked the madness of the Lynch version which has made that a cult item ever since it appeared.

That was a big problem, particularly when following Chalamet around the galaxy was not as exciting as this appeared to believe. This was yet another messiah story, but you had a hard time being convinced he would be able to arrange a children's birthday party, never mind a planet full of outer space rebels, so wan was he, so lacking in charisma. Perhaps it was not his fault, likely it was the script not doing him any favours, but he was drowned out by the monolithic production design. Herbert's series of novels were, if nothing else, a triumph of what we now call world-building, a buzzword for the fantastical in motion pictures for some time before Dune 2021 was created, but on this evidence trying to wrestle some character out of the cast was a task even the page had not been able to match up to.

About the best of them was Jason Momoa, whose natural roguish charm added a little movie star sparkle to his role as the Atreides' can-do guy on the ground, so of course he was hardly in it and won't be in the sequel. Stellan Skarsgård tried to have some disgusting fun with Baron Harkonnen by playing him as Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now, but it came across as a game of spot the reference rather than a fully realised villain. Mostly the characters stood about explaining the plot to each other until it was time to run away from something, and the much-vaunted sandworms (arguably the series' most famous element) were barely to be seen. Thanks to cutting the book (mostly) in half, there was no climax to build to, it simply ended as it seemed we should really have had more of an experience with all this expense than we did. No sense of humour, no sense of amusement, just two and a half hours of "I want you to take me very seriously" in a plot so wrapped up in itself that the non-fans need not apply. Pseudo-ethnic music by Hans Zimmer.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 1264 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Louise Hackett
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M


Last Updated: